Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Water and Heart Health

Water and Heart Health

Water makes up over 80% of our body so it stands to reason that keeping ourselves full of this basic necessity is important for normal body function.  Water is essential for healthy function of muscle tissue so we are going to shine the spotlight on the most important muscle in your body, your heart!
A study that appeared in the American Journal of Epidemiology followed 20,000 adults for 6 years and found that those people who drank 5 or more 8 ounce glasses of water a day had a significantly lower risk of dying from a heart attack than those who drank less than 2 glasses.  When broken down by gender, men had a 54% reduced risk of heart attack when drinking 5 or more glasses while women reduced theirs by 41%! It should also be noted that large consumption of liquids other than water resulted in women being twice as likely to have a heart attack and men increasing the risk by 46%.  While this is one study, and further exam is warranted, the heart health benefits of water cannot be denied. 

Why is it so good for our hearts?
Keeping our body hydrated helps thin the blood. Thinner blood means that the heart has to work less to pump blood through our blood vessels, reducing blood pressure.
Water helps maintain the myofascial tissue that supports and helps normal muscle function.  Normal muscle contractions are essential to help squeeze blood from our extremities back to the heart and lungs.

Lack of water has been shown to increase levels of the stress hormone Cortisol in the body.  Increased stress has been linked to increased incidences of heart attack.
Water has been shown to help with weight control.  Obesity increases the work load of the heart by increasing the volume of the blood that needs to be pumped, causes increased “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increases the risk of developing diabetes which can increase heart attack risk.

These are just a few of the health benefits of water but the list goes on and on. Your heart is the hardest working organ in your body, why not make his job a little easier?